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Powerful lift-off for Katuka Mentorship with largest intake ever

Powerful lift-off for Katuka Mentorship with largest intake ever

The first training sessions for the mentors and mentees in the 2017 Katuka Mentorship programme was conducted this week in Windhoek. It is the largest intake since 2001 when the programme was started by the then Namibian Businesswoman of the Year, the late Lena Markus.

The mentees are Beaulah Garises, Hileni Rijnen, Milly Awaras, Teopolina Fillemon, Asnat Neumbo, Anna-Abia Shigweda, Aile-Alleta Mutumbulwa, Lovisa Indongo-Nemandje, Nair Diniz De Moura, Hileni Natanael, Georgia Kauapirura, Magdalena David, Elizabeth Haingura, Erna Aisindi and Tulonga Neputa.

They are mentored by Annemarie van der Riet, Naita Awene, Dantagos Garosas, Elke Hanstein, Mathilde Ishitile, Gloria Kapingana, Natasha Beyleveld, Olivia Nghaamwa, Sylvia Nsinano, Barbara Nyathi, Ansie Rossouw, Piachon Sheya, Simonee Shihepo, Sigrid Tjijorokisa and Maria Immanuel.

The training is conducted by seasoned Human Resources practitioner and trainer, Sabine Ruegg under the auspices of the project coordinator, the Marketing Manager and partner of the Economist, Desèré Lundon-Muller. She explained that Katuka is a mentorship programme launched by the late Lena Markus in July 2001. Her aim was to empower and encourage female entrepreneurs as well as business and professional women to achieve success in their careers through mentoring from other more experienced business and professional women.

“It is a method of advancement which provides support and training through relationship building. It is about matching a mentee and mentor with a similar personal and professional interest in a process of support, sharing and learning to help entrepreneurs and businesswomen who want to start up a business venture, or want to improve the operations of an existing business. It is also for young women who are in the first steps of a career and want guidance to prosper on the corporate ladder and reach their full potential” Lundon-Muller explained.

She expressed her appreciation to Telecom Namibia, Katuka’s main sponsor. “I want to thank Telecom Namibia for their profound commitment to the development of women in Namibia. The much-appreciated assistance which the women of Namibia receive from Telecom has profoundly impacted on the emancipation of women and is one of the most effective ways to create a new generation of entrepreneurs and professionals and to stimulate economic growth in our country” she said.

Currently in its sixteenth year, the Katuka Mentorship Programme has produced significant results in the careers of the participating mentees. Up to 2016, 295 entrepreneurs and businesswomen have completed the programme. The 2017 intake has increased the numbers of participants to 325.

About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA (hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees in Philosophy and Divinity. Publisher and Editor of the Namibia Economist since February 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 32 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. He is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional journalists. From time to time he helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. Since October 2021, he conducts a weekly talkshow on Radio Energy, again for a lay audience. On 04 September 2022, he was ordained as a Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA). Send comments or enquiries to [email protected]